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THE TWO FOSCARI.1

AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY.?

"The father softens, but the governor's resolved.' Critic.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.

FRANCIS FOSCARI, Doge of Venice. JACOPO FOSCARI, Son of the Doge. JAMES LOREDANO, a Patrician. MARCO MEMMO, a Chief of the Forty. BARBARIGO, a Senator.

Other Senators, The Council of Ten, Guards, Attendants, etc., etc.

WOMAN.

MARINA, Wife of young Foscari.

SCENE - The Ducal Palace, Venice.

[The Two Foscari was produced at Drury Lane Theatre April 7, and again on April 18 and April 25, 1838. Macready played "Francis Foscari," Mr.

[The Two Foscari was begun June 12, finished July 9, and published December 19, 1821.)

2

[Francesco, son of Nicolo Foscari, was born in 1373- He was nominated a member of the Council of Ten in 1399, and, elected Doge in 1423. His dukedom, the longest on record, lasted till 1457. He was married, in 1395, to Maria, daughter of Andrea Priuli, and, en secondes noces, to Maria, or Marina, daughter of Bartolommeo Nani. By his two wives he was the father of ten children five sons and five daughters. Of the five sons, four died of the plague, and the fifth, Jacopo, lived to be the cause, if not the hero, of a tragedy.

The younger of the "Two Foscari" was a man of some cultivation, a child and lover of Venice, but indifferent to her ideals and regardless of her prejudices and restrictions. He seems to have begun life in a blaze of popularity the admired of all admirers. His wedding with Lucrezia Contarini (January, 1441) was celebrated with a novel and peculiar splendour.

Four years after his marriage (February 17, 1445) an accusation was laid before the Ten that, contrary to the law embodied in the Ducal Promissione, he had accepted gifts of jewels and money, not only from his fellow-citizens, but from his country's bitterest enemy, Filippo Visconti, Duke of Milan. Jacopo tled to Trieste,

Anderson "Jacopo Foscari," and Miss Helen Faucit "Marina."

According to the Times, April 9, 1838, "Miss Faucit's Marina, the most energetic part of the whole, was clever, and showed a careful attention to the points which might be made."

Macready notes in his diary, April 7, 1838 (Reminiscences, 1875, ii. 106): "Acted Foscari very well. Was very warmly received was called for at the end of the tragedy, and received by the whole house standing up and waving handkerchiefs with great enthusiasm. Dickens, Forster, Proctor, Browning, Talfourd, all came into my room."]

and in his absence the Ten, supported by a giunta of ten, on their own authority and independently of the Doge, sentenced him to perpetual banishment at Nauplia, in Roumania. It is to be noted that this sentence was never carried into effect. At the end of four months, thanks to the intervention of five members of the Ten, he was removed from Trieste to Treviso, and, two years later (September 13, 1447), out of consideration to the Doge, who pleaded that the exile of his only son prevented him from giving his whole heart and soul to the Republic, permitted to return to Venice.

Three years went by, and once again, January, 1451, a charge was preferred against Jacopo Foscari, and on this occasion he was arrested and brought before the Ten. He was accused of being implicated in the murder of Ermolao Donato, who was assassinated November 5, 1450, on leaving the Ducal Palace, where he had been attending the Council of the Pregadi. The charge may be said to have been non-proven, but innocent or guilty, he was sentenced to perpetual banishment to the city of Candia, on the north coast of the island of Crete; and, guilty or innocent, Jacopo was not the man to make the best of what remained to him and submit to fate. Intrigue he must, and, five years later (June, 1456), a report reached Venice that papers had been found in his possession, some relating to the Duke of Milan, calculated to excite nuovi scandali e disordini," and others in cipher, which the Ten could not read. Over and above these papers there was direct evidence that Jacopo had written to the Imperatore dei Turchi, imploring him to send his galley and take him away from Candia. Here was a fresh instance of treachery to the Republic, and July 21, 1456, Jacopo returned to Venice under the custody of Lorenzo Loredano.

According to Romanin (Storia, elc., iv. 284), he was not put to the torture, but confessed his guilt spontaneously, pleading, by way of excuse, that the letter to the Duke of Milan had been allowed to fall into the hands of spies, with a view to his being recalled to Venice and obtaining a glimpse of his parents and family, even at a risk of a fresh trial. On the other hand, the

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Dolfin Cronaca, the work of a kinsman of the Foscari, which records Jacopo's fruitless appeal to the sorrowful but inexorable Doge, and other incidents of a personal nature, testifies, if not to torture on the rack, "to mutilation by thirty strokes of the lash." Be that as it may, he was once more condemned to lifelong exile, with the additional penalty that he should be imprisoned for a year. He sailed from Venice July 31, 1456, and died at Candia, January 12, 1457. Jacopo's misconduct and consequent misfortune overshadowed the splendour of his father's reign, and, in very truth, "brought his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.'

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After his son's death, the aged Doge, now in his eighty-fifth year, retired to his own apartments, and refused to preside at Councils of State. The Ten, who in 1446 had yielded to the Doge's plea that a father fretting for an exiled son could not discharge his public duties, were instant that he should abdicate the dukedom on the score of decrepitude. Accounts differ as to the mode in which he received the sentence of deposition. It is certain that he was compelled to abdicate on Sunday morning, October 23, 1457, but was allowed a breathing-space of a few days to make his arrangements for quitting the Ducal Palace.

On Monday, October 24, the Great Council met to elect his successor, and sat with closed doors till Sunday, October 30.

On Sunday, October 30, Pasquale Malipiero was declared Doge, and two days after, All Saints' Day, at the first hour of the morning, Francesco Foscari died. If the interval between ten o'clock on Sunday night and one o'clock on Tuesday morning disproves the legend that the discrowned Doge ruptured a blood-vessel at the moment when the bell was tolling for the election of his successor, the truth remains that, old as he was, he died of a broken heart.]

Bar.

ting any.

Without owning

Perhaps without commit

But he avowed the letter to the Duke Of Milan, and his sufferings half atone

for

Lor.

Such weakness.

We shall see.

You, Loredano,

Bar.

Pursue hereditary hate too far. Lor. How far?

Bar.

Lor.

To extermination.

When they are

20

Extinct, you may say this. - Let's in to council. Bar. Yet pause · colleagues is not

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